C A I N
Alex George had a striking resemblance to her sister, Max. The crucial difference wasn’t physical however, it was the way Alex shrunk back in fear when we walked in. Her fingers tightened around the bedsheets, her eyes darting to her father and sister beside her.
“Hi, Alex,” Harry smiles, before nodding at Frankie and her father. Mr George glared at me, before nodding gruffly at Harry. “How are you feeling today?”
“I still remember nothing,” Alex blurts out, causing me to arch a brow in response.
The lady doth protest too much.
“That’s fine,” Harry coos. “Could we have a moment alone, please?”
Mr George narrows his eyes, but Frankie touches his arm, guiding him towards the exit.
“We will be right outside,” Frankie reassures Alex, who looks like a deer in the headlights.
She knows something.
“This is my partner, Cain Harvey,” Harry sinks into the chair her father recently vacated, before nodding over at me. Alex lifts her eyes to mine, nodding whilst biting her lip. “You heard we found Max, right?”
“Yes,” Alex replies, her posture softening. “I’m so glad she is alright.”
“I wouldn’t say that,” I interrupt, causing her eyes to widen anxiously. “She is constantly sleeping, the doctors have ran tests and they can see she has been heavily sedated. Drugged, if you will. Your sister doesn’t do drugs, does she, Alex?”
“No,” Alex replies, sending Harry a pleading look. Harry says nothing, watching me with amusement in his eyes. “What has this got to do with me?”
“Two sisters go missing, yet none of them can recall a thing,” I muse, resting my hands on the bottom of the bed. Alex swallows, her knuckles turning white as she grips the sheets harder. “One has a significant head injury, the other has nothing. So, what exactly is it that is making you forget, Alex?”
“Years of drug abuse?” Harry offers, playing along.
“Nah, see; Alex’s drug reports were cocaine related. Even years of coke abuse wouldn’t make you forget something like that. Something doesn’t add up here.”
Tears fill Alex’s eyes as she stares at me, her jaw clenching.
“So, I’ll ask you this,” I smile coldly, wanting to shake the truth out of the girl before me. “What do you remember about your days whilst you were missing? Anything can help.”
“There was a dog barking,” Alex whispers, blinking tears. “The man didn’t show his face, but he had dark hair and a soft voice. I was in a loft.”
I can barely breathe as Harry lifts his eyes to mine. He shakes his head slightly, telling me wordlessly that I was wrong.
“How do you know you were in a loft?” I grit out, my hands tightening around the bar of the bed. My shoulders are so tense, I feel like my muscles are going to tear apart.
“Because he went through a door on the floor,” Alex says, lifting her eyes to mine. “Please, I can’t-” She sobs then, and Frankie and Mr George burst through the door.
“That’s enough!” barks Mr George, pointing a finger at me. “Get out! I’ve had enough of you fucking with my family.”
“She’s lying,” I mutter to Harry as he walks me out, apologising to Mr George. “She is just saying that-”
“Cain! Shut the fuck up, man,” Harry hisses, slamming me against the wall. Onlookers watch with interest as I shove him away, our eyes locked onto one another. “Andy has a fucking dog. Max was in a loft. Dark hair? Come on! You’re clouded with emotion, you’re not thinking straight-”
“I’m not thinking straight?” I rasp, moving closer to my partner. “For years I’ve accepted that you are the better detective, Harry. You have everything, and I haven’t hated you once for it. But now? Now I’m being the better detective, and it fucking saddens me, because I need you.”
I push past him, ignoring the looks of intrigue and whispers of gossip as I do.
“You’re wrong, Cain,” Harry hollers after me, causing me to raise my middle finger in his direction childishly. “Fucking kid.”
I make my way to Max’s room, not caring a jot about her father’s last words to me. My connection with Max was second to none, and I needed to speak to her. I knew she would tell me it was Yan. I reach her door, tapping softly on the glass before walking in. The doctor is walking out, and I pull him to the side.
“How is she, doctor?”
The man insists on seeing my badge, then informs me that Max appeared to be suffering with memory loss.
“Whatever they hit her with caused her significant trauma,” he sighs, peering at me over the glasses on the end of his nose. “She just needs to heal. She is dehydrated, which isn’t helping. I’m not sure she can tell you anything useful, Detective. “
“Thank you, Doctor.”
I head in, my heart soaring when Max’s eyes flutter open, a small smile on her lips.
“Hey you,” I grin, walking across the room as her mother stands from the bed beside her.
“I’ll give you some time alone with the Detective,” she smiles thinly, ignoring my look of gratitude.
The door closes, and we are alone. I slide my hand beneath hers, lifting it to my lips to kiss it softly.
“What the hell happened, Cain?” Max asks, her voice hoarse and quiet.
“What do you remember?” I ask, praying she mentioned Yan.
“Not a lot,” Max wrinkles her nose up, lifting her hand to her head. “Someone hit me.”
I tense up then, gripping her hand.
“I’m sorry,” I whisper, bowing my head.
“Why are you sorry?” Max murmurs, her free hand moving through my hair, sending shivers down my spine. I’d missed her touch more than I knew.
“Because I said I’d protect you,” I said gruffly, a lump forming in my throat. “Instead, you got kidnapped and fucking assaulted. I let you down.”
Max is silent then, and I finally lift my eyes up to meet hers. Ocean blue pools stare back at me, her lips parting slightly as she frowns with confusion.
“When did you say that?” She asks carefully, her shoulders drooping.
“When you went to take the money to Yan-”
“Oh. That’s all I remember, going into that alleyway…” her voice fades, her eyes falling down to my hand clasping hers. “Sorry. That’s not very helpful, is it?”
“Max,” I breathe, lifting her hand to my lips again. “Don’t apologise, it’s unnecessary.”
“Who did this, Cain? Was it Yan?”
“I think so, but-”
“No one is telling me shit, Cain. Tell me what you know.”
“We found you in Andy’s house,” I whisper as her hand tightens around mine, her eyes widening in disbelief.
“Wh-what?” she stammers, her chest heaving.
“Look, I don’t for one second think Andy hurt you, Max,” I say hastily.
“You don’t?” Max frowns, wincing as she moves her head to focus on me fully. “If you found there me…”
I shake my head with irritation, but it’s not directed at her.
“Sweetheart, Andy got a call to tell him you were at your apartment. He told me straight away-”
“Isn’t that a tad suspicious, Cain?” Max blanches, removing her hand from mine slightly. “Why are you on his side?”
Her tone seems to ice over, and I have the familiar sinking feeling in my stomach. She doesn’t believe me.
“Because the only person in that damn alleyway was Yan,” I explain, wondering if I’m talking in a different fucking language. “Andy wasn’t there- we would have seen him!”
“How would you know that, Cain? Did you see Yan?” Max sighs, her eyes closing with tiredness.
“Yes, darlin’, I saw Yan. We followed his car-”
“Was I in the car?” Max asks, her voice thick with sleep.
“No, but neither was the money-”
“I need to sleep, Cain. I’m sorry.”
Her voice fades, her body sinking further into the bed. I nod silently, still holding her hand.
There was only one other person who knew Andy was innocent, and she wasn’t talking.
Which left Andy himself.